First and foremost, you should have a good reason to build a website. Most people do have good reasons but they don’t write them down. Take the time to write down why you are building this web property.
You should have an objective or multiple objectives that you want to achieve. For example, you want people to understand what you are researching or teaching. You want people to donate their time or money to your mission.
You should have an understanding of your target audience. Who are they? Do they normally use the web? How do they get their information about what I do?
What’s your story that you want to tell them? So many people don’t figure out the story they want to tell before they begin to build their tactics like a website to reach the people they want to talk to. It reminds of a child chasing after their mother, yelling incessantly, “Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom…” When she finally stops and turns around to say, “What?” The child responds with “I don’t know.”
This is what you are going to do and for me, there’s usually only a few strategies out there.
“Outreach” strategy – every tactic (the how) must fall into how you are going to reach the viewer. You are everywhere that your user may be looking for you, seeking your kind of help.
“Expert” strategy – every tactic must fall into how you are going to demonstrate that you know what you are talking about in your field. You are someone that can help them solve their problem.
“Resource” strategy – every tactic must fall into how you are going to give something to the viewer that will help them solve their problem.
There are many others. Like for instance, Southwest’s strategy was to be the lowest cost airline provider. If you added cost without making it cheap to fly then the tactic was rejected. They were always looking to make it cheaper to fly than with anyone else.
Your website is a tactic. Granted, I believe it is one of the most useful tactics but it still should be treated like a tactic.
There are lots of other tactics like magazines, brochures, and white papers but let’s stick to the website.
So you have your objectives, target audience and story to fill your website with. What should you do next?
- Think about your objective and then pinpoint an action that would make the website a success. For instance, the website is a success if people give us their email addresses and want a relationship with us. Or they fill out a survey. Or they read our blog/watch a video (measured by time on site). Continue reading